THE critics of Bolívar who charge him with an inordinate appetite for popular acclaim and with the loss of time indulging it, need only to examine the records of his activities to be refuted. Three days after he entered Bogotá he sent off to Zea, in Angostura, a complete report of all his movements since leaving Venezuela--a voluminous composition which would be a good three days' task for anyone.
He ordered Soublette and Anzoátegui to continue the persecution of the few Spanish forces remaining in New Granada--which they did so successfully that in a few weeks' time the whole viceroyalty was cleared, except for a strip along the north coast. But the patriot cause suffered a great loss when the loyal and brilliant Anzoátegui died in Pamplona from sickness contracted in crossing the Andes. Meanwhile Bolívar had proposed an exchange of prisoners to Sámano, offering him the valiant and--rare among the Spaniards--honorable Barreira. Sámano didn't even answer. He descended the Magdalena and sailed for Spain.
The liberation of New Granada was a tremendous boost for the patriot cause. This land had not suffered the fearful depredations of the Spaniards, as had Venezuela; and, although the most illustrious citizens had been executed, the country was overflowing with food and rich in man power. Bolívar found himself for the first time with an abundance of materials of war at his command.